Japanese invasion of China is remembered

Updated: 2016-09-12 11:10

By Lia Zhu in San Francisco(China Daily USA)

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Japanese invasion of China is remembered

Florence Fang (center), curator of the WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall in San Francisco, and museum volunteers gather at a press conference in San Mateo, California to commemorate the "September 18 Incident" involving the Japanese Army. Lia Zhu / China Daily

Chinese community members in the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday commemorated the 85th anniversary of the "September 18 Incident" in 1931, which marked Japan's large-scale armed invasion of Northeast China.

The incident, also known as the Mukden Incident, took place in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, where the Japanese Army blew up a section of the railway under its control and accused Chinese troops of sabotage as a pretext for attack.

"The Mukden Incident marked the Japanese real invasion into China, triggering the nationwide fight against Japanese aggression," said Florence Fang, curator of the WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall in San Francisco, at a press conference in San Mateo, California.

Six years after the Mukden Incident, the Japanese Army provoked another incident on July 7, 1937, near Beijing, known as the "Marco Polo Bridge Incident", which marked the start of China's eight-year resistance against Japanese aggression. More than 35 million Chinese were killed and wounded by the Japanese Army from 1937 to 1945.

"It means the Chinese fought against the Japanese Army much longer than eight years, and the museum will cover more historic periods," said Fong, also a philanthropist in the Bay Area.

In honor of the 85th anniversary of the incident, the museum will install a 120-inch touch screen on Sept 18, which will display an interactive map of battles in China. By touching the names of the battles, visitors can see a detailed description of the battles.

"The theme of the museum, which opened last August, is to respect history and cherish peace. We aim to tell the world of China's contribution and sacrifice during the war," said Fong. "We expect the museum to serve as a bridge to connect the memories of the Chinese with those of the world."

Over the last year, international visitors from more than 30 countries have visited the museum, mostly from China, Japan and South Korea.

She also received support and encouragement from other museums, including the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, the Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in Beijing and the Holocaust Center in San Francisco.

Fong said she is inspired to form an association of World War II museums next year to promote world peace.